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Developer Economics

Developer Economics

5 min

Roblox makes it possible for you to create content and experiences with no upfront costs and incentivizes you with the right economic structure. When you build on Roblox, you get the following benefits:

  • There are no upfront costs to create on Roblox. On other platforms, you incur expenses such as storage, hosting, and infrastructure before you even start building or making money. On Roblox, you start building for free and are only charged after you start to earn money. You receive about 27% of the revenue your content and experiences generate.

  • There are no additional fees or steps. Roblox runs as lean as possible and uses its share of earnings to pay for all the tools, services, support, fees, operating costs, and R&D costs.

  • There is no significant acquisition cost. Growing an experience on Roblox is significantly more cost effective than off-platform. Developers can take advantage of our organic channels, our network effect, and our extremely cost effective, on-platform ads.

Cash Payout Structure

As of June 2021, 1.3 million creators and developers are earning Robux (our platform’s currency) and are on track to earn $500 million in 2021. On average, Roblox pays creators and developers about 27 cents per dollar spent.

The following chart illustrates the estimated utilization of each dollar spent on Roblox. Note that the chart doesn’t reflect our expenses as disclosed in our GAAP financial statements.

App Stores & Payment Processing Fees
24.1%
This reflects the processing payment fees related to all purchases of Robux (). These fees are paid directly to Apple (iOS), Google and Amazon (Android), and Microsoft (Xbox and Microsoft Store). These costs also include processing fees associated with other payment methods, such as credit card or PayPal, as well as costs associated with the sale of our prepaid cards.
Platform Hosting & Support
15.1%
These costs relate to Roblox's maintenance of the servers that all Roblox experiences use, as well as platform-wide customer support, user and experience moderation, and user acquisition.
Platform Investment
9.5%
These costs relate to future-looking investments in the Roblox platform and ongoing research & development.
Roblox Share
23.8%
Roblox uses this percentage to cover ongoing services and operating costs.
Developer Share – Developer Exchange
24.5%
This percentage is the experience owner's earnings based on transactions, before any developer spending on the Roblox platform. A developer's earnings share may differ. Eligible developers may cash out through our Developer Exchange program at an exchange rate determined by Roblox.
Developer Share – Engagement-based Payouts (EBP)
2.9%
Developers also get extra Robux for simply building an engaging experience. Roblox calculates payout based on the share of time a Premium subscriber spends in your experience. These engagement-based payouts happen automatically as a way to reward engaging experiences. This percentage reflects our platform average, though the actual percent of earnings from EBP may vary from experience to experience based on the engagement level in the experience.

Calculating Cash Earned

Depending on how you earn Robux on our platform, your specific share of cash can vary from the average figure of 27.4%. Ultimately, we calculate your share of cash with the following variables:

  1. Robux earned from each transaction in your experiences
  2. Robux earned from engagement based payouts
  3. The total amount Robux earned multiplied by the exchange rate when converting to cash

The following sections describe in more detail how you can 1) earn Robux, 2) how your share of Robux is calculated, and 3) how Robux is converted to cash.

Earning Robux

Roblox offers you the following ways to earn Robux by creating content and experiences:

  • Creating and selling avatar items — Creators can create and sell accessories and clothes for avatars in the Roblox marketplace or in their own experiences.

  • Offering in-experience purchases — Developers can offer in-experience purchases in their experience, such as special abilities and accessories for people to purchase.

  • Having an engaging experience — Developers get extra Robux for simply building an engaging experience. Roblox calculates payout based on the share of time a premium subscriber spends in your experience. These engagement based payouts, called articles/premium payouts|Premium Payouts, happen automatically, in addition to in-experience purchases, as a way to reward engaging experiences.

  • Creating and selling Studio assets and plugins — Developers can create and sell specialized tools and assets to the community such as models, meshes, and plugins.

You can see your earned Robux on the Developer Exchange page when signed into your account. Converting it to cash is easy, using a simple form.

How Your Share of Robux is Calculated

When creating anything on Roblox, you receive a percent of every transaction you’re a part of. In every transaction listed in How to Earn Robux (except engagement based payouts), there are up to three stakeholders:

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Oftentimes, the creator of the item is also the seller of the item. This is true when you built an experience and also created the items sold in your experience. For example, if you create and sell an “avatar flying ability” in your experience for 100 Robux, you earn 70 Robux for creating and selling the item and Roblox earns 30 Robux (platform share). Other times, you might create items that you sell in the Roblox marketplace. In this case, Roblox is both the seller and the platform and earns 70%, and you earn 30% as the creator.

In addition to Robux earned from a transaction, you might also earn Robux through Engagement Based Payouts (EBP). In fact, 50% of our top 10,000& experiences (based on hours) earn more from EBP than from in-experience purchases. For example, Gacha Online markets itself as a game with lots of free content for users to enjoy. While they decided not to earn money through lots of micro-transactions, they are still able to generate considerable earnings by supporting an experience with phenomenal engagement (consistently ranked in the top 30 by hours this year). In Q2 of 2021, Gacha Online earned about $25,000 per month from EBP, representing about 96% of total earnings.

How Robux is Converted to Cash

Once you earn Robux, you can continue to use it in our platform to buy developer assets, plugins, ads, in-experience items, or metaverse items. In addition, once you have earned at least 100,000 Robux, you can exchange the Robux for real currency using the Developer Exchange Program. Roblox currently uses an exchange rate of ~.0035 USD per Robux earned to calculate the amount of real currency you receive.

Tags:
  • economics
  • revenue